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Thank you Ruthie for hopping over to share all about having a thriving summer with active children. Ruthie is one of those women that every young mom needs in their life. I am grateful for her mentorship, even from across the miles. Her advice for summertime is like gold- read it mamas!
Years ago, as a young mom of four, I figured out the secret to a thriving summer with active children! There’s only one thing that keeps kids occupied for long periods of time in the summer and that’s – you guessed it – water activities.
Actually, there are two more things. Snacks and friends. So – water, snacks, and friends.
What am I talking about?
Water + snacks + friends + mommy friends = Serenity Now.
Ok, maybe not exactly serenity, but most certainly summer sanity!
Here’s a routine to help make pool time possible. It worked for me – in fact we had it down to a science because kids are motivated by water fun!
My pool routine for a thriving summer with active children
Do chores first
Make beds, brush teeth, care for pets, sweep, dust, clean rooms, and prep for any evening activities.
Pack lunches and snacks
Go ahead and do it right before you head out the door – that way the kids can run free as soon as you arrive and they’re not all up in your grill because, “You said I could be first this time!” (Eye roll.) With active children, you need to be thinking a little head.
At the beginning of summer, I took my kids beach towel shopping and let them each choose their own. This way they never forgot their towels because they liked them!
Carry gear to car (teamwork)
This is not all you, mama. Make everyone carry at least one thing. They won’t like this, but if you sit in the driver’s seat refusing to tote another load, they’ll get the hint. (It makes them later to the pool – nobody wants that!)
Unload gear at pool
Chat with friends or read a book while they play with friends
Repeat 3-5 times per week
I’m not even kidding. Try not to load up the kid’s schedules so much that you don’t have any down time. Summer is for firefly catching, grass rolling, and lazy-dazing. Let your kids be kids and give yourself a break!
Give a padded warning when time to leave
This way the idea isn’t so abrupt and they have time to adjust to the thought of leaving. Trust me – it saves on whining and tantrums. Give a 15-minute heads-up, then in 5 or 10 minutes call them out of the pool. (Leaving always takes wayyyyy longer than arriving…
Spend evenings together
So you got your adult fix at the pool. Now it’s family time, watch them play outside, or read to them from the porch swing. Summer evenings are for creating special memories you’ll savor long after the sun goes down and the years have flown.
I literally went to the pool every day. Ours was 10 minutes from home and I paid the (extremely low) fee each summer.
It was worth every.single.penny.
You may think I’m a little overboard with #7 and maybe (selfishly) unbalanced. Here’s the deal – if you have more than one kid and their kids have friends, they can play together. If you’re doing number ten, you’re still connecting with your kid. But mama needs boundaries and friend time too.
Especially if mama wants to thrive this summer.
Let your kids enjoy summertime at the pool. Make it a team effort and explain when everyone pitches in, everyone gets to have water time.
Trust me – your kids will enjoy summer more and so will you!
Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with The Tiny Tornado or snuggling Baby Cakes (her grandbabies), you can find her coaching young moms to capture joy in parenting at Rear Release Regroup. Ruthie is the author of Count to Nine: 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. Click to download her Wife and Mommy Survival Kit here.